Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health



Mandy Kloppers

Teens and depression: Troubling symptoms no parent should ignore

Teenage depression is a condition that should never be taken lightly. It’s not just a phase or the sufferer feeling “blue” for no apparent reason. As the teenage years can be some of the most emotionally demanding of our lives, it’s hardly surprising that many young adults find themselves spiralling into depression and struggling to function.

Before we get stuck in, you’re probably wondering: what are the potential causes of depression in teens? Here are some of the main reasons teens develop depression:

  • Trauma – a life-changing event can sometimes have a long-lasting impact on young people, leading to depression or other mental conditions.
  • Bullying – bullying can be particularly rife in schools, making teenagers feel totally isolated.
  • Death of someone close to them – if a relative or friend dies it can have a hugely detrimental impact on anybody, young or old. This can be particularly tough for teens if they have not experienced anything similar before, they have known the deceased person their whole life, or they feel they don’t have support from others.
  • A big change, such as moving schools or parents divorcing can create an imbalance, thus resulting in negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Physical or mental abuse – this could range from sexual harassment, gaslighting, cruel words, violence etc. from another person.
  • Changing hormones – when you’re a teenager you are going through a lot of changes physically and emotionally. These can be difficult to manage, especially when everything seems to be happening so fast.
  • Struggles with school work – education can put a lot of pressure on young people, which can result in them feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
  • Inherited traits – depression is more common in people whose relatives have also suffered from it.

The longer your teen suffers from this mood disorder, the bigger the impact it will have on their adult life. Therefore, if you think your teen is showing signs of depression, it’s important that you reach out to them and get them the help they need as soon as possible. Yes We Can Youth Clinics is specialised in helping young adults overcome their depression and break down the stigma surrounding mental health issues in young people. With a series of tailored treatments and support, Yes We Can Youth Clinics can effectively treat your teen and help them make a breakthrough.

Are you concerned about your teen’s current mental state? Read on for the troubling symptoms of depression in teenagers you should never ignore.

A persistent low mood

All teens and young adults have low moods sometimes, which can be related to hormones and other factors. However, if your loved one is in a persistent low mood and they seem unable to shake it, then they may need additional support.

Sudden outbursts

Does your teen have an apparent lack of control over their emotions? Whether they’re asked a harmless question or something has gone wrong, are they irritable, hostile, crying or persistently angry?

They’re sleeping more, or not at all

We all know that teenagers and young adults like to sleep a lot, and much of this is hormone-related. But if your teen is having difficulty falling asleep and potentially suffering from insomnia, then it’s likely that they’re suffering from depression or their sleep issues could exacerbate their depressive state. Depression can also be linked to excessive sleep or even daytime sleepiness.

Their appetite has changed

Is your teen suddenly overeating? They could be using food as a way to binge and punish themselves or to force a feeling of contentment. Or are they skipping meals and showing little interest in food? This could be a sign of an increase in the hormone cortisol in the brain, commonly known as the stress hormone. When this is triggered, it can suppress our appetites. Either of these scenarios can be an indication of depression.

Things they enjoy are no longer relevant

Whether they used to love reading, playing sports, vlogging, meeting with friends, drawing or something else, if their passions and hobbies have suddenly fallen by the wayside because they no longer bring them joy and happiness, then this could be a cry for help

Self-harm and suicidal thoughts

Be mindful of your teen not wanting to discuss their future, if they’re using destructive language or are withdrawn. If your teen is self-harming, thinking about self-harm or is talking about suicide then you should seek emergency help, now.


Seeking help for a teen who is struggling with depression is the best thing you can do for them. Try to talk to them, offer your support and seek treatment together.


Photo by Katie Gerrard on Unsplash